The Rhythm of Rest
Winter flew by more quickly than I had anticipated. Long nights tucked away inside our cozy apartment reminded me of how much I truly needed to rest. And sometimes rest looks different from what we expect. For me it came in the form of long walks with Molly, praying the rosary, journaling every morning, and trading in reading and writing time for Scrabble with Stephen and with friends (it was a fair trade).
While slippers still remain on my feet and leggings under my dresses, spring is on my mind—deep cleaning, clothing I need to purchase for my spring/summer wardrobe, sewing, and knitting projects I’ve yet to finish. These sunny March days have inspired me to be more productive. I hope you, too, have been enjoying the anticipation of spring while being refreshed by the restfulness of winter.
Have regular hours for work and play, make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well.Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
In the Morning When I Rise
This winter season I made an effort to journal every morning. I’m not going to lie, it was hard waking up earlier (especially with the time change), but it was always worth it! The devotional I’ve used this season is Made New by Blessed Is She. It is absolutely stunning—the art and the length of each day are just right and the stories are just what my heart has needed. The book is divided into five sections: beheld, belong, beloved, believing, and becoming. Each week is rooted in a scripture passage all leading to the same conclusion that our identity is found in being made in God’s image and likeness—not in how successful we are, how loved, or popular.
I highly recommend it, if you are looking for a Catholic devotional. It’s a year-long devotional, but I’ve been reading it daily in the morning (with tea of course!).
I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament.J.R.R. Tolkien
Another addition I’ve made to my routine is attending Mass on Fridays. There’s a little parish on Cherry Street that isn’t far from where I work. There is so much beauty and joy found within the Eucharist. I have always been encouraged by Tolkien’s devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and I hope you will be, too:
“Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament. . . . There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth, and more than that: Death: by the divine paradox, that which ends life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste—or foretaste—of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man’s heart desires.”
Comfort & Joy
Although I made time for events, dinners with friends, and scrabble, I still had plenty of time for reading. No matter what else happened during the winter season, reading is always the thing that brings the most comfort and joy.
Luckily my daily commute to the office is .08 miles, the perfect distance to squeeze in audiobooks and podcasts.
For all of my fellow Lord of the Rings nerds: have you downloaded the Fantasy Hike app? All the steps you take will let your halfling avatar progress through Middle Earth to Mount Doom. I’m on day 64 of my quest and have walked 84.0 miles. I’m in the forest by Tom Bombadil.
‘How do I feel?’ he cried. ‘Well, I don’t know how to say it. I feel, I feel’ — he waved his arms in the air — ‘I feel like spring after winter, and sun on the leaves; and like trumpets and harps and all the songs I have ever heard!’J.R.R. Tolkien
Tolkien writes in Letter 210, “Seasons are carefully regarded… They are pictoral, and should be, and easily could be, made the main means by which the artists indicate time-passage. The main action begins in autumn and passes through winter to a brilliant spring: this is basic to the purport and tone of the tale.”J.R.R. Tolkien
The landscape without a thick layer of bright white snow has felt unfamiliar. But the winds of March are blowing, the buds on branches are bursting forth and birds are signing a new song. It’s finally spring and there’s so much to look forward to!